WARREN, Mich. (Dec. 25, 2018) – While Christmas is a time for giving and sharing with those around us, it’s also a time for sharing and caring for those we don’t know or never will meet.
Earlier this month, student athletes from the De La Salle Collegiate hockey program participated in a shopping spree for a family faced with a difficult health crisis. Through the New Day Foundation for Families’ Hope for the Holidays program, the Pilots were assigned a Downriver family.
“Our players live the Lasallian mission each day and their faith in action is a very powerful tool,” Pilots varsity coach Sean Clark said. “The honor, respect, and empathy they shared with this family is a testament to their personal commitment to living the gospel.”
Through financial assistance and counseling programs, the New Day Foundation serves the cancer community by alleviating financial and emotional burdens caused by a cancer diagnosis. The goal of Hope for the Holidays is to provide dozens of metro Detroit families a celebrated holiday experience.
This was the sixth year that the De La Salle hockey teams have partnered with the New Day Foundation. In the past, most of the logistics was handled by Ray LaRue, the dad of alumni Justin ’16 and Jared ’18.
This month, the Pilots were assigned to the McBride family from Brownstown, Michigan. Earlier in the year, Donn McBride, 42, was diagnosed with gilobastoma multiforme, an aggressive form of brain cancer. The married father of four had surgery in September and is currently undergoing chemotherapy. However, doctors have advised the family to seek hospice care.
“His wife (Brenda) had to resign from her job to help take care of Donn as his primary caregiver,” Clark said. “They’re having a very difficult time making ends meet.”
The McBrides – including children Donn Jr. (21), James (19), Andre (16), and Kristina (11) – was very modest with their selection of gifts.
“The majority of items were socks, underwear, T-shirts, jackets, backpacks,” Clark said. “One of the boys asked for a Firestone gift card so he could purchase new tires for the winter.”
Seniors Brendan Pelto, Jeremy Coppola, Joe Pierce, James Carucci, juniors Daniel Miscavish, Cristian Bronzino, and sophomore Evan Verschaeve then went shopping on Dec. 8.
The Pilots players and their families raised funds for the Walmart shopping spree by asking anyone wishing to help for $20 contributions. Participation was completely voluntary for varsity and JV families. The players raised the necessary funds in 48 hours.
Pierce, Bronzino and seniors Christian Ciavaglia and Dino Bucci delivered the gifts to the Rochester Community House, where they met the McBrides, who were very grateful for the Pilots generosity.